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About the HOMS Band Program

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The Hugo Owens Band Program


Classes and Groups


6th Grade


The 6th Grade, or beginning band, is an ensemble for the beginning instrumentalist.  You need no musical experience or background to join.  Even if you were in strings in 5th grade, you may join.  The instruments offered in this ensemble are Flute, Clarinet, Trumpet, Trombone, Alto Saxophone, and Percussion.


7th Grade


The 7th Grade Band is the first opportunity for the student to involve themselves more into the band program.  In order to be in this ensemble, a student must successfully complete band in the 6th grade with no recurring discipline problems.  The 7th grade has an increased level of musicianship, as well as increased playing opportunities through district band, band performance assessment, and other concerts.  7th grade band students also have an opportunity to participate in our extra-curricular ensembles, such as our Jazz Band.


8th Grade


The 8th Grade Band serves as preparation for the increased demands of a high school ensemble.  Advancing from the 7th grade literature, the 8th grade band will be able to perform at various local venues, as well as take part in concerts not available to other grade levels.  By 8th grade, the band will have a more “colorful” instrumentation.  This means the addition of instruments such as oboe, bassoon, euphonium (baritone), tenor saxophone, and tuba.  To be in the 8th grade band, a student must successfully complete 7th grade band with no recurring disciplinary problems.


Jazz Band


Hugo Owens has a Jazz Band that meets two mornings per week, not to interfere with other groups and sports.  The group is made up of 7th and 8th grade saxophones, trumpets, trombones, and percussion, as well as bass guitar and piano.  Students who play flute or clarinet are still welcome to practice and audition on a secondary instrument. 



Mr. Phillips, Band Director



Matthew Phillips a native of Chesapeake, is in his eighth year as a band director in the Hugo Owens Middle School program.  His responsibilities include teaching 6th, 7th, and 8th Grade bands, as well as leading the Hugo Owens Jazz Band.  Before teaching at Hugo Owens Middle School, Mr. Phillips taught for three years at Hickory High School, and two years at Oscar Smith Middle School in Chesapeake, VA.  Like many other local band directors, Mr. Phillips received his Bachelor's Degree in Music Education from East Carolina University, and earned his Master’s Degree in Secondary Education from Old Dominion University, studying with Jon Wacker, Scott Carter, Christopher Knighten, Dennis Zeisler, and Gregory Hurley.  He has performed with the Virginia Wind Symphony for the past eleven years, and also serves as a private percussion teacher.  Mr. Phillips has also served as a successful percussion instructor/clinician to many local area schools, with multiple seasons of service at Great Bridge, Hickory, and Grassfield High Schools.  Earning the respect of his fellow music educators, Mr. Phillips has most recently fulfilled his commitment to serve as The Virginia Band and Orchestra Directors Associations District 4 representative and chair, serving and representing music educators from Portsmouth, Suffolk, Isle of Wight County and Chesapeake.  Mr. Phillips is currently a member of the NAFME and the NEA.